glucose (sugar), which is then "burned" to produce energy.  B vitamins are often
referred to as B-complex vitamins and are essential in the metabolism of fats and
protein.  They are necessary for maintaining muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract
and promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.

Thiamine is needed for normal growth and development.  It also helps to maintain
proper functioning of the heart, nervous, and digestive systems.  Thiamine is believed
to enhance the activity of the immune system and improve the body's ability to
withstand stressful situations.


Deficiency of Thiamin:
Thiamine deficiency can be caused by malnutrition, a diet that is high in
thiaminase-rich foods (raw freshwater fish, raw shellfish, ferns) and/or foods that are
high in anti-thiamine factors (tea, coffee, betel nuts).  Thiamin deficiency affects the
cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, nervous, and muscular systems.  It can lead to
problems including neurodegeneration, wasting, and death.  Well-known diseases
caused by thiamine deficiency include Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and beriberi.  
The diseases are also common in chronic abusers of alcohol.  

Individuals with thiamine deficiency have difficulty digesting carbohydrates, which
causes a build up of pyruvic acid in the bloodstream.  The acid buildup causes a loss
of mental alertness,  breathing difficulty, and heart damage.

Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above.  Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.


Toxicity (Thiamin Overdose):
Taking very high doses of thiamine can cause an upset stomach.  Taking any one of
the B complex vitamins for a long period of time can cause an imbalance of the other
important B vitamins.  To avoid the imbalance, it is recommended that you take a B
complex vitamin instead of isolating any single B vitamin.


Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in thiamin is the safest and healthiest way
to get an adequate supply of the nutrient.  Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should
always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting doses of
supplements.  Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first
consult with their pediatrician.  Also, some supplements may interfere with
medications.  If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with
your physician before taking any supplements.  All supplements should be kept in
childproof bottles and out of children's reach.


Thiamin Food Chart (List of Foods High in Thiamin):

Wheat Germ breakfast cereal 1 cup - (4.47 mg)
Peas, cooked, 1/2 cup - (0.21 mg)
Brown Rice, long grain, cooked, 1 cup - (0.19 mg)
Pecans 1 ounce - (0.19 mg)
Brazil Nuts 1 ounce -  (0.18 mg)
Lentils, cooked, 1/2 cup - (0.17 mg)
Cantaloupe 1/2 fruit - (0.11 mg)
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice - (0.10 mg)
Orange 1 fruit - (0.10 mg)  
Milk 1 cup - (0.10 mg)
Spinach, cooked, 1/2 cup - (0.09 mg)
Egg, cooked, 1 large - (0.03mg)
 


Sources:

American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH

University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu

Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu

Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
thiamin can help to prevent
conditions such as cataracts and
dementia.  Foods that are high in
thiamin include: beans, lentils and
nuts.   

What is Thiamin?
Thiamine, also called vitamin B1,
is a water soluble B-complex
vitamin.


Function of Thiamin:
The B vitamins work together to
convert carbohydrates into
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